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Hi :) 

So I've accepted an offer from a graduate school online and am now wondering whether there are some additional steps I need to take to officially accept the offer (e.g. mail the school a signed acknowledgement of acceptance).

Where I come from, the process of accepting grad school offers is somewhat more complicated and usually involves quite a lot of hard copy documentation.

Is simply clicking the Accept button enough?

 

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It depends on the school. You might get sent a letter now that you need to sign and return. But many places now consider an online "accept" button clicked behind a secure login to be the digital equivalent of a signature.

Now that you have officially accepted your offer (congrats!) it is also a good idea to email people you've been in contact with in the department to let them know. For example, write back to whomever communicated the offer to you originally. Also get in touch with your potential advisor (if you are entering a program with one) to let them know too!

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It really depends on the program and school. I'm pretty sure I just clicked "accept" for my last school. For my future school, there's not even a portal or an official university acceptance, so replying via email is the only way we can accept (and from there on the admin puts us down with the university as having accepted and she says she'll come back with paperwork in May). And believe me, I've triple checked this last one to make sure that I wasn't just missing something.

When you've clicked "accept" in the portal, it means that you've officially accepted the offer. Nothing will go wrong if you don't do anything else. If something is missing or if there are additional things to do or send, the school will contact you about it. As long as you've accepted it in the portal, they will not rescind your ability to enter the program just because you forgot to do something else.

However, if you've been in contact with faculty in the program, it is polite to let them know that you've accepted the offer and that you're looking forward to working with them in the future. In my previous program it didn't seem entirely necessary because we didn't enter committed to any particular PI, and while I did go to recruitment weekend, I wasn't really in communication with anyone to the point where they need to know whether I'd be coming. But if you've been talking to people throughout this process, it'd be good to let them know.

Edited by ThousandsHardships
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I asked the head of my program what all I needed to do because there's about five ways we've communicated: an an online portal, a hard copy contract--attach to email or snail mail it back in--, emails, phone, and carrier pidgeon  

I can understand why you're confused and would just ask for clarification from someone in the department. 

And congrats!!

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When I got an email with an offer I need to sign and return, I can just scan it and return it by e-mail right? or do I have to physically mail it before the 15th? It is not specified explicitly.

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46 minutes ago, enc said:

When I got an email with an offer I need to sign and return, I can just scan it and return it by e-mail right? or do I have to physically mail it before the 15th? It is not specified explicitly.

No, it's not. That's why I asked. I'd suggest you do the same. 

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